6

To my knowledge, there was a lot of anti-Israel propaganda that emphasized

  • Israeli militarism.
  • Suppression of the Arab locals.
  • Israel being a puppet of the US.
  • Israel being friendly with the former Nazis, for instance, in FRG.

At the same time, the Soviet government initially objected to Jewish emigration to Israel, but then reluctantly allowed it.

In these circumstances it would look logical that the Soviet government would try to convince Soviet Jews that they would live badly and poorly in Israel if they decided to emigrate. But I do not know a single Soviet propaganda piece with such stance.

Are there any known such pieces of propaganda, that would emphasize poverty in Israel, anti-immigrant attitude of the local Israelis, housing shortage, etc?

15
  • 3
    By chance, what I think is a mis-spelling in your title (and text) gives an opposite impression to what you mean: I suspect you mean "emphasized". ("Empathized" means "has empathy/sympathy for", which I gather is not what you mean...) I hesitate to change anything, though. Commented Apr 1, 2023 at 22:05
  • 1
    Soviet propaganda was not made by idiots. They perfectly understood that those who moved to Israel kept correspondence with their friends and relatives remaining in Soviet Union, and that such statements would sound implausible.
    – Alex
    Commented Apr 2, 2023 at 12:56
  • 4
    @Alex East German propaganda had lots of stories about life in West Germany was bad. Unemployment, lack of worker's rights, drugs , homelessness etc. Although East Germany was full of people who had relatives in the west.
    – Jan
    Commented Apr 2, 2023 at 15:58
  • 1
    Quite a few Jews who left USSR failed in live up to their own expectations in USA and Israel and asked the Soviet authorities for a permission to return (in exchange for participating in anti-emigration propaganda). I remember seeing them in a soviet propaganda movie. They were derisively called "дважды евреи советского союза"....
    – sds
    Commented Apr 2, 2023 at 20:54
  • 1
    @jwenting: That would be a wrong guess. However, you are correct in the context of, say, Poland. Commented Apr 3, 2023 at 15:04

1 Answer 1

9

Here is a short answer (I will add more detail and background when I have more time):

One of the most "comprehensive" examples of such propaganda is

“The White Book: Evidence, Facts, Documents.” Moscow, 1979. 280 pages. ("Белая книга: свидетельства, факты, документы", M., 1979.)

You can enjoy reading it (in Russian) here: gumer.info/bibliotek_Buks/History/Article/bel_kn.php.

According to the abstract of the book:

“This book contains evidence, facts and documents about lack of basic rights and oppression in the capitalist world of persons, who left the USSR. It tells how the fake freedoms of the individual in the West under closer examination turn out to be a cover for unemployment, social inequality and humiliation.” [The translation is mine.]

While there is no word "Jew" or "Israel" in the title/abstract, this is what the book is primarily about. Its primary purpose was to discourage Soviet Jews from emigration. The book is a long and detailed version of the propaganda articles/movies that sds mentioned in his comment. The book is clever and was not aimed at idiots.

The original "White Book" was followed in 1985 by the "White Book": New facts, evidence, documents," Moscow, 1985. 302 pages. ("Белая книга. Новые факты, свидетельства, документы." М., 1985.)

A funny thing about both "white books" was that they became bestsellers among Soviet Jews planning emigration since they contained at least some information about life of Jews abroad, as well as excerpts from publications that were otherwise illegal in USSR (such as Efraim Sevela's books written in the US).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.